Raf Simons for Jil Sander: Fashion & Art

Jil Sander Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 runway photo

The collection department is pleased to announce the purchase of six key looks from Jil Sander‘s Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 collection – under the creative direction of Raf Simons – please refer to the pictures of four pieces from this purchase. This collection represented a remarkable signal of Raf Simons’ new vision for Jil Sander.

Simons combines two distinctive collections within one. The actual catwalk show established that divide: the first part was a result of an interesting research on Jil Sander’s archive in Hamburg, which no longer exists. Raf Simons very much respected the signature of straight-forward shapes characteristic of Jil Sander – sharply tailored garments and linear silhouette suggesting modern practicality. However, the second ‘chapter’ of the story introduces Simon’s take on decorative arts. The Belgian designer moves on from the slick elegance of Jil Sander’s style to sculptural forms.

Simons takes inspiration from the works by the mid-century French sculptor-ceramicist Pol Chambost (1906-1983). Where again art influences fashion, Simons meets the voluptuous and curvy forms present in the modernist sculptures by Chambost. A stiff material – similar to neoprene from wet suits – was used to give structure to the garments highlighting raised and pronounced collars and twisted funnels around the neck and waistline, recreating the organic sculptural forms for dresses and coats. Shots of strong bright yellows and oranges, literally taken out from Chambost’s sculptures would appear in the monochromatic grey, white and navy-blue pieces.

Although the press and specialists then appeared a little sceptical about the complexity of the second part of this collection, describing it at times as a ‘concept’, Simons managed to create a visually impressive collection, where decorative arts is successfully interpreted and translated into clothing by a fashion designer.